Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Lesson of Four Spirits


Last night, I studied from the opening Zohar of “The Song of Songs”. Here, the Zohar explained that there are four spirits that the Messiah will have: (1) a spirit of God (2) a spirit of wisdom and understanding (3) a spirit of counsel and strength (4) a spirit of knowledge and fear of God. Yet, these four blend into a single spirit - giving the Messiah one spirit. 

How did they start off as four spirits?  The four are created by the kissing of the cosmic couple - the cosmic male and female. In kissing spirit is shared. So she takes in a bit of his spirit and he takes in a bit of her’s. Thus, each one now embodies two spirits, one’s own and one’s partner’s - making a total of four spirits. These four spirits then blend into individual souls born from their coupling - especially, the most ideal of souls, the soul of the Messiah himself. Thus, within him, these four spirits are actually a single spirit. However, within his singular spirit there remains a trace of the fourfold origin, which manifest as his four core divine expressions.

What fascinates me most, at this moment, might not necessarily be the central message of this Zoharic passage. It might be a bit off to the side. I am fascinated by how when the male spirit enters the female, it somehow becomes a distinct spirit. Similarly, when the female spirit enters the male, it too somehow becomes a distinct spirit. One would expect that the entering spirits either retain their identity of origin or take on the identity of their destination. I found their becoming counted as “distinct” a bit of a surprise.

There’s a great lesson here. Everything is shaped both by origin and destination, past and present, nature and nurture. This shows that if a person wants to change into a better ideal self and does not find the strength within to transform, it’s worth immersing oneself in an environment where the ideal is lived and breathed. Then the desired transformation is more likely to catch.

I know that this is a very humbling position and humility can be an emotionally painful place to be. Many enjoy the notion of being “self made” or “self perfected”. However, it appears that God wants humility on the journey. Therefore, He makes us need others who are already further along. 

However, lest one’s concerned that the new environment will dissolve all traces of individuality, this too is untrue. We see from this Zoharic passage that two of the spirits are first considered “distinct” because they are absorbed in a new environment. 

Let’s pray for the emotional wherewithal to be humble. So that we can go forth, find proper environments and spiritually grow.

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